Lola and the Boy Next Door [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Lola and the Boy Next Door [Book Review & Giveaway!]
Hey there, everyone!

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books

Published Date: 28th September 2011

Rating: 4 Stars
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Synopsis: Lola Nolan is a budding costume
designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the
better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot
rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the
neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s
shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of
feelings for the boy next door.
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Review: I was
so excited to start reading this book! You can read all about how much I read
and loved the first book in the series, Anna and the French Kiss here. After
that fabulous book I strongly believed that Stephanie Perkins could do no wrong
and that I would love this one just as much as the other. I did enjoy this one
almost as much, but I had quite a few issues with the beginning. Let’s cover
those before we get onto the wonderful rest of the book.
In the beginning we are gradually introduced to four
things that were thrown in my face a lot. The first is that Lola’s parents are
both dads who are gay. We learn that her boyfriend is Max who is twenty two
while she is seventeen, which isn’t usually supposed to happen for legal
reasons. Then there is the fact that they are sleeping together (a sex positive
book!). And lastly we meet Lola in more detail and learn about her costumes and
very eccentric clothing.
Now I am not saying I agree or disagree with any of those
things. But the reason I didn’t like this was because in the
first fifty pages we are learning all of this in such a ‘preachy’ way. It
wasn’t as if it was part of the novel, but more so the author is saying, “These
are my opinions and because I can I am writing them into this
book and making them okay. Perhaps it was because there were so many “controversial” topics jumbled together in the beginning, instead of spaced out throughout the novel. That might have made it seem a bit less preachy to me, and more a natural part of the novel. I’m not sure whether my issue is with it sounding preachy or just how it was factored into the novel…
As well as that, in the first fifty pages we also have a
build up to something which fell entirely flat for me. Lola keeps going on
about the boy next door (Cricket) who she really hopes isn’t moving in. But she
seems him. And at that current moment in the novel we don’t know what has
happened in the past between them that is such a big deal which gets her to
react so strongly in such a negative way. However, within the first fifty pages
(I am SO thankful this wasn’t dragged out any longer. I was afraid it would
be…) we get to see what happened in their past. It was a great big… nothing.
Well, it was a bit of an ordeal but it was nothing as huge as I was imagining
from the way Lola was acting and it made it all seem like a mighty
exaggeration.
Anyway, now it is time to get onto the good stuff!
Because once you get through the beginning this novel turns out to be
WONDERFUL.
We have the lovely Cricket who is the boy next door. He
is science-y, geeky and definitely a shy and awkward person. He was one of
those people who are just filled with so much energy their body is buzzing with
it. And he was a good person; as in good-natured, supportive and generally
kind. I don’t think he is the kind of person who is harmful to anyone who
hasn’t deserved it. I loved him!
When it comes to the romance element in this novel,
Stephanie Perkins has it down. There are plenty of cute and adorable moments
with romance involved. There are a lot of awkward and funny ones too that had
me cracking up out loud. There is only one word for this kind of romance novel:
perfection.
Another thing which surprised me quite a bit was how much
Anna and St. Clair who were the main characters of the previous novel were
featured. I knew that they made cameo appearances from reading other reviews,
but I didn’t know they would be so present.
I really did love having them around and it was so interesting to see Anna
when we weren’t in her point of view, and likewise for St. Clair. Loved their
involvement completely ^.^
There are a lot more themes in this novel too. Stephanie
Perkins is the master of having a hard running romance and yet touching on other
themes along the way, such as finding your own identity, coming of age, family
history, drugs and drinking as well. It was an interesting book, a great
continuation to the series and I can’t wait to read more. I just hope final
book and I get off to a better start!

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Gif Summary:

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Quote: It’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

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Giveaway! A review chain company I run is having a giveaway at the moment… and I thought it might be sneaky cool if I shared it with you too! So enter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Giftcard 🙂
Olivia’s Questions: Have you ever read a preachy novel?
How did it affect you?
Olivia-Savannah x


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